Toronto FC Releases MF Carl Robinson

Ellixs TulaganContributor IMarch 6, 2010

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 28:  Carl Robinson of Wales leaves the field looking dejected during the FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifier Group 4 match between Wales and Finland at the Millennium Stadium on March 28, 2009 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

One of Toronto FC's most popular players has parted ways with the squad.

Reports are that the veteran Midfielder from Wales has been released by TFC and will go on trial with the New York Red Bulls, which finished seventh in the Eastern Conference just a year after making the MLS Final.

If Robinson, 33, signs with New York, Toronto would still be responsible for paying a portion of his salary, but would receive an undisclosed number of draft picks for the Red Bulls in exchange.

The release of Robinson seems to be a financial move by The Reds as his base salary last year was $300,000 Us, one of the team's larger contracts.

Should he sign with New York, a portion of his salary would be off the books, freeing up some valuable salary cap space for Toronto GM Mo Johnston.

Toronto’s signing of Canadian Julian de Guzman late last season also made Robinson somewhat redundant, as the two play the same holding midfield position.

Robinson has been with Toronto since 2007, their inaugural season in Major League Soccer. Since that time, the Welshman has won the admiration and respect of teammates and fans alike for his commitment, strength of character, and the consistent level of his performances.

He also played a significant role in helping mentor the team’s young players, including Maurice Edu (who was named the league’s rookie of the year in 2007 before being sold to Scottish club Glasgow Rangers the following year) and fellow midfielder Sam Cronin.

Robinson scored three goals in 74 games (73 as a starter) during his three years in Toronto and was viewed as one the team’s leaders, both on the field and in the locker-room.

The Welshman was twice named the team’s season MVP, in 2007 and 2008, and had long talked about ending his pro career in Toronto. But earlier this year, Johnston admitted that he was open to trading Robinson.

Before coming to MLS, Robinson played in England for 10 years, spending time with such clubs as Wolverhampton, Portsmouth, Sunderland, and Norwich City.

Toronto FC’s season opener is March 27, on the road against the Columbus Crew